Etymologika. Order and interpretation of knowledge in Greek and Byzantine lexica up into the Renaissance. Online edition with resources on manuscript production, user groups and cultural environment

Project homepage:




Critical edition and translation with commentary of the important Greek lexicon “Etymologicum Gudianum“.
Research into the manuscript production of Greek and Byzantine etymological lexica.

Project description

Greek etymological lexica ("Etymologika") are among the most important lexicographic achievements pertaining to the history of ancient and medieval knowledge in Europe. They continued to be produced, used and extended even into the Renaissance and the early modern period. The term used for these lexica is derived from Classical Antiquity’s philosophical and grammatical analysis of language in search of the étymon, i.e. the ‘true meaning’ and essence of a word. The knowledge preserved in the Etymologika is an important heritage of Ancient and Byzantine Greek culture that has not received sufficient scholarly attention as yet.

The project’s main objective is creating the first complete critical edition of the influential "Etymologicum Gudianum" with translation and commentary. Both a printed edition and extensive online resources will be provided to make the results accessible more widely.

The rich production and use of the corresponding manuscripts characterised by their multi-layered texts and later additions will be studied thoroughly. Thus, the cultural environment that created and disseminated these manuscripts can be analysed to determine their role as repositories and vehicles of knowledge.

Cooperation partner
University of Hamburg

Principal Investigator
Prof. Dr. Christian Brockmann


The long-term project is funded within the framework of the Academies Program, which is coordinated by the Union of German Academies of Sciences and Humanities.